HD 97 Candidate Michael Burks And The Missoula Media

by Travis Mateer

I was poking around the local media landscape this morning looking for some info on HD 97 candidate, Michael Burks, when I found this article from two years ago about a media effort connecting Burks to a group called Missoulians for Missoula. One of the problems with this effort is that local media apparently failed to reach out to Burks for a statement. From the link:

Burks said no one from the media contacted him prior to the publishing of their stories.

“That is absolutely true,” he said. “My wife and I were headed to Kalispell to have emergency oral surgery and we received text messages stating that they were proud of us for standing up to something or the other, and we were completely blown away. We got to the hotel and started doing some research and, lo and behold, we found the articles. No, I had no idea this was coming. No, nobody called us for any comment, because, trust me, what I had to say to them would have been in print.”

Burks said that the way the media has treated him and his family over the years that he was not going to reach out to them.

Yes, our local media has A LOT of power in how they frame narratives. I experienced this directly when my presence and questions to Elsie Arntzen were dutifully ignored by local media in preference to a poorly-timed joke issued by Quentin Rhoades. Even worse, when it became apparent that Rep. Danny Tenenbaum snuck into the church in order to secretly record the event, resulting in my filing of a police report, NOT ONE media outlet took up the story.

Since I consider myself an insider with relevant information about what’s going on in the community I’ve called home for 21 years, I get a little miffed by stenography punks like Jordan Hansen spending time on Twitter saying shit like this:

As I write this post, Jordy is busy searching and posting old tweets of mine to make some point about wether or not I’ve claimed he’s an “activist” journalist or stenographer. For the sake of clarity, I DO NOT think Jordy is an activist journalist for the following reason:

The reason this exchange got started in the first place is because Missoula’s County Commissioners are going to be entertaining another Blue Line Development scheme next week to develop the Larchmont golf course. The link is to another stenographer, Martin Kidston, who once worked for the Missoulian and the Democratic party (is there a difference?). From the link:

In a statement Friday afternoon, the county said Blueline Development and the WGM Group will present their plans next week to convert the Larchmont Golf Course into a mixed-use development.

“Larchmont is a treasured public amenity with enormous use, and the county must take a measured, thoughtful approach to any idea for developing it because once it’s gone, we can’t get it back,” said Emily Brock, director of economic and land development with the county. “However, this is a bold proposal that could add significant housing supply to our market, and the developers deserve a chance to present it.”

Blue Line Development is getting LOTS of action in Missoula surrounding housing, and I’m sure it has nothing to do with employing the daughter of the director of the Missoula Redevelopment Agency. And I’m sure it’s just a lack of journalistic resources that has kept our local media from connecting Blue Line Development to the Transitional Safe Outdoor Space.

As I show Missoula stenographers what a little fearless Gonzo journalism can accomplish, the courage of calling out some of these cogs is proving to be infectious. I’m getting some interesting emails that I’ll be following up on this coming week about stories being purposefully ignored by local media.

I’ve also got a song I recorded, titled Gomer, for a VERY SPECIAL “reporter” who exemplifies the utter lack of integrity that exists among our narrative controllers.

So stay tuned, and thanks for reading!

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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2 Responses to HD 97 Candidate Michael Burks And The Missoula Media

  1. Roy says:

    People don’t go to stenographers like Jordan Hansen, Skyler Rispens, Maritsa Georgiou, et al. for serious reporting. They go to them for confirmation bias and to have their minds filled with the latest propaganda from the City-County apparatchiks.

  2. Djinn&tonic says:

    Amazingly shitty, is my new saying for things like this… Yay! We need more gentrified neighborhoods and beefed-up golf courses to push the little people out.

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